There's a serious note to Oren Safdie's musical comedy, "Jews & Jesus" -- his own life. Safdie, 38, drew on his interfaith dating experiences to write the play about two religiously mixed couples trying to walk the fine line between tradition and emotion, love and guilt. Debra (Iris Bahr), the child of a mixed marriage, travels to Israel, where she meets an American rabbinical student (Griffin Shaw) struggling against the temptation of premarital sex.
He played a scumbag ex-husband in "First Wives Club"; harried father in both "Clueless" and "A Night at the Roxbury"; and President Richard Nixon in this year's "Dick." And this week, Dan Hedaya was recognized for his prolific body of work at the Third Annual Los Angeles Sephardic Film Festival (alongside fellow actor Shaun Toub and film editor Kent Beyda) -- something he never anticipated while growing up in Bensonhurst.
In "Hit and Runway," a straight Italian-American naif teams up with a gay Jew to write a screenplay. In "Aimee & Jaguar," a Jewish woman and a Nazi's wife begin a torrid affair. In "Man is a Woman," a gay man marries a woman, a Yiddish singer, who has never known a man.
"The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years," an 82-year-old man rinses out his dentures in his solitary apartment and longs for love and sex. Another elderly man laments that he has been impotent since receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
Selma, 73, discusses her sexless marriage, her affairs, the elderly man who tried to rape her and the hopelessness of living alone. "Touching, it's what I miss," she confides. "What I'd really like is not the sex act itself. I just want to be held."
When thecolumnist and author Jack Newfield started work on his documentaryabout Robert F. Kennedy, his mind was rooted as much in the presentas it was in the past. Yes, a large part of the purpose of thethree-hour special, "Robert F. Kennedy: A Memoir" (Discovery Channel,Sunday, June 7, 8 p.m.), was to commemorate and honor the latesenator on the 30th anniversary of his assassination.